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Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution (Culture and Education Series) Paperback – December 22, 1999

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Product Details

  • Series: Culture and Education Series
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (December 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847695336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847695331
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Keeps the revolutionary spirit of Che and Freire alive and challenges readers, particularly educators, to engage the true meaning of a revolutionary praxis. A must-read for all those who dare embrace a truly revolutionary pedagogy of the oppressed. (Donaldo Macedo, University of Massachusetts, Boston)

In a probing posthumous meditation on the life and work of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Paulo Freire, Peter McLaren not only recalls their history but reasserts the continued influence for our own times of these two revolutionary teachers. (Barbara Harlow, University of Texas, Austin)

In this lucid and theoretically informed reappraisal of the legacies of Che and Freire, Peter McLaren has made a significant contribution to a renewed Marxist theory. Where critiques of capitalism seem to be out of fashion, this volume engages the lives of two great revolutionaries in the context of 'globalization' and increasing class inequality. (Rodolfo D. Torres, professor, University of California, Irvine; visiting professor, University of Glasgow, Scotland)

An enlightening reaffirmation of revolutionary theory and practice, much needed as an antidote to this age of free-market imperialism. (Michael Parenti, author of The Face of Imperialism and God and His Demons)

A book on Che Guevera and Paulo Freire? Once again Peter McLaren has asked scholars and educators to confront our own political limitations and imagine the unimaginable: Educational revolution is achievable. McLaren passionately turns to the revolutionary spirit of these two icons in a work that rivals the intensity of Jonathan Kozol's work. I predict McLaren's book will have equal impact on the educational community. He invites the reader to boldly act in the name and the body of the poor and dispossessed. Scholarship in education can have no higher ambition. (Louis F. Mirón, University of California, Irvine, Author of The Social Construction of Urban Schooling)

Peter McLaren's Che Guevara, Paulo Freire is a vigorous intervention in the complexity of the contemporary political situation—from rearticulating the project of radical pedagogy to his argument to reorient the left itself. Through his groundbreaking regrasping of Che's revolutionary practices,McLaren critiques the left—especially progressive left pedagogy—for its marginalization of class and complacent reformism. In an effective intervention, he puts the international class struggle at the forefront of a revolutionary pedagogy. As part of his argument for the reorganization of social institutions in Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, McLaren offers a sustained radical critique of transnational neoliberalism and its corporatization of education—in doing so, he places revolutionary pedagogy in solidarity with the oppressed of global capitalism. (Teresa L. Ebert, Author of Ludic Feminism and After)

Truly impressive both in terms of the wide range of discourses, issues and topics which it addresses and connects, as well as the breadth and depth of the contribution it makes to the theory and practice of critical pedagogy. (Richard Harris, California State University; author of Death of a Revolutionary: Che Guevara's Last Mission)

A sweeping and provocative work that raises pedagogical theory to new heights. Professor McLaren deftly weaves together the critical educational legacy of Paulo Freire, the revolutionary spirit of Che Guevara, and some of the best elements of contemporary radical social thought to arrive at a powerful synthesis of historical analysis and political vision. (Carl Boggs, National University; author of The Two Revolutions: Gramsci and the Dilemmas of Western Marxism and Social Movements and Political Power)

Peter McClaren, in his new book, Che Guevara and Paulo Freire, has eloquently summed up for the next millenium what critical pedagogy inspired by the life-works of Che and Freire has to offer: not a utopia of private pleasure and desire preached by Rorty and other neoliberal apologists but a life-enhancing praxis of personal and social transformation needed to renew the ecosystem exhausted by global capitalism. We have much to learn from the visionary reason of these two great heroic "guerillas" of the much maligned "third world." (E. San Juan, Jr., Department of Comparative American Cultures, Washington State University)

McLaren's exploration into the similar and divergent theoretical positions of Che and Freire's contributions to our understanding of a revolutionary socialist vision is impeccable. Through critically examining the tremendous intellectual fortitude and unwavering practice of these two prominent left intellectuals of this century, he unearths the often forgotten explicatory depth and political dynamism of historical materialism. By so doing, McLaren assists educators to engage more profoundly with the current crisis of global capitalism, in order to construct a renewed socialist project for the new millennium. (Antonia Darder, Claremont Graduate University, author of Culture and Power in the Classroom)

This is a work of profound insight that marks a turning point in the literature of critical pedagogy. (Community Development Journal)

McLaren examines and interprets the teachings of these two figures with the aim of developing in readers the kind of critical agency he sees as necessary to resist the economic and political structures that currently dominate global relations. (Journal Of Social Work Education)

McLaren's writing is a brilliant blend of passion, commitment, and critical analysis and insight. It is poetry and prose in an intimate dance that touches, at once, readers' hearts and minds. This new book, which appeared at the very dawn of the new millennium, is no exception. Indeed, it is probably McLaren's most important and exciting text to date. It is also one of the most important books on critical education, and thus also education and social justice, to have been written in the twentieth century. Only a 'Comrade of the heart' could have written with such ardour, precision, and depth. (Paula Allman Education and Social Justice)

The barbarities of, inequalities in, and the destructive power of globalizing world capitalism are well documented here. What resonates in mind after reading this moving and powerful book is love, hope, and the possibility of a just and equal future for all. (Times Higher Education Supplement)

In the spirit of Che and Paulo, McLaren demands a politics of bodily and affective investment grounded in both theoretical and relational knowledge. The call is intended to provide students with the necessary self-empowering pedagogical conditions, which include a language of social analysis and cultural critique. (Educational Researcher)

As far as English language publications go, this is the first attempt to focus extensively on Che in a book on education. (Comparative Education Review)

Not since (1976) has there been a work published in the field of education that has such potential to reinvigorate discussion of the social, economic, political, and cultural contradictions of global capitalism. (Against the Current)

As long as capital stalks the earth, disfiguring education in the process, McLaren's Che/Freire will be an essential reading for educators and others concerned with socialist transformation. (British Educational Research Journal)

McLaren's book serves as a reminder and warning that the training of educators is paramount. (Canadian Journal of Political Science)

McLaren echoes the call of critical social theory over the past century, that education, trapped within the logic of capital and the market, "has been reduced to a subsector of the economy." Appealing to people's sense of justice, this book creates new channels of internationalist solidarity and coalition building among Left constituencies. (Educational Researcher)

This book serves as an excellent introduction to the praxis of Che and Freire and the contemporary debates on the left over postmodernism, globalization, and the prospects for radical social transformationin our time. (Adult Education Quarterly)

McLaren's pedagogy of revolution would improve citizens' awareness of the ways in which capitalistic imperatives are defined as uniquely "American" values and their awareness of the damaging consequences of this scenario to the image of the U.S. around the world, especially in Second and Third World nations. By better preparing us to engage, reinterpret, and struggle against these and other instances of capitalistic might and military imperialism, McLaren's latest call for a politically and economically savvy program of teacher education offers the potential for decreased hostility and bloodshed through rigorous interrogation of national policies and more humane interactions with our global neigbors. (Jac)

Che Guevara is usually perceived as a Romantic model whom we should admire, while pursuing our daily business as usual—the most perverse defense against what Che stood for. What McLaren's fascinating book demonstrates is that, on the contrary, Che is a model for our times, a figure we should imitate in our struggle against neoliberal global capitalism. (Slavoj Zizek)

About the Author

One of the most respected and influential educators in North America, Peter McLaren is known the world over for his political activism, his pioneering writings on critical pedagogy, and his trenchant critiques of global capitalism and educational policy. He is the author and editor of over twenty-five books and monographs including Critical Pedagogy and Predatory Culture, Revolutionary Multiculturalism, and Schooling as a Ritual Performance. His work has been published in twelve languages. Peter McLaren is professor in the Division of Urban Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California. He lectures worldwide on the politics of liberation and is considered one of the central architects of critical pedagogy. He has recently won the Paulo Freire Democratic Projects Award of Social Justice.

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45 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Bahruth, Ph.D. on May 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy ofRevolution
Reviewer: Robert E. Bahruth, Ph.D. from Boise StateUniversity, Boise, Idaho
In order to contextualize the significance of the contributions of both Che Guevara and Paulo Freire for American readers, McLaren makes the analogy to Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. respectively. Whereas Che, Malcolm X and Dr. King were all dealt with by assassination, Paulo died of heart failure at the age of 75. One might suspect that Paulo's end may have been more violent - and he certainly suffered persecution during critical periods in his lifetime, including a long exile - had his ideas not been rejected by anti-intellectuals in the American academy. Often his work was dismissed, without careful consideration, by professors who claimed that his ideas only applied to third world contexts. To this Donaldo Macedo often asked the critical question: Have you been to East Los Angeles, Roxbury, Harlem, East St. Louis or Camden, New Jersey, lately? One might wonder how the world today might have been a saner place for humanity had Che, Malcolm and Dr. King truly enjoyed the protection of the first amendment's freedom of speech "guarantee," thereby living longer lives and pushing the causes of common people's human rights. It has been claimed that the reason why Che was not allowed a trial in an international court was because the powerbrokers who financed his murder - there were CIA agents present to orchestrate his assassination, including the way he should be shot to make it appear as though he were wounded in combat - feared the power of his discourse and how it might play in the minds of the oppressed peoples of the world.
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Valeria D'Annibale on May 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Peter McLaren has long been recognized as one of the pioneering figures within the tradition of critical pedagagy and his body of work thus far has been hailed, rightfully so, as cutting-edge in his field. Yet what makes McLaren's work both provocative and unique is that it transcends the boundaries of any one discipline--in this case, education, and speaks to much broader concerns within critical social theory as a whole. His latest book to which this review is dedicated, "Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution," is arguably his most powerful contribution not only to social theory but to progressive Left politics as a whole. After reading this inspiring text, I was immediately reminded of E.P. Thompson's famous treatise "The Poverty of Theory" penned more than twenty years ago. In that text, Thompson was, of course, mainly concerned with the influence of Althusserian Marxism and the tendency of intellectuals to become so immersed within the web of "scholastic argument," so immersed within their "pseudo-revolutionary dramas" in the realm of pure Theory (with a capital T), that they tended to ignore the actual material conditions of embodied, historical agents. Thompson condemned such intellectual exercises for being diversionist tactics which lended themselves to the elitist division between theory and practice. Thompson's book was also a clarion call for the "Left" of his time to honestly re-evaluate itself. McLaren's latest effort is another such clarion call and it comes at a time when it is desperately needed. Indeed, it is a passionate plea for committed Left scholars to reassess the most basic constitutive principles which have dominated Left intellectual discourse for the last two decades.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Freddy on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book to students, researchers in critical education, and activists in human rights. McLaren's book provides insights in social and consciousness transformation and gives powerful critiques on the global contexts in education. His research on Che and Freire engages readers in the possibility of reconstructing a revolutionary narrative. McLaren's research provides his characteristic commitment to social transformation through critical education. In this book, he provides clear connection between theory and practice, ideals and biographical transformation.
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get this book for all of your teachers, and yourself and follow it up with the related primary sources, such as Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Cdte's Guevara's talks with the Juventud.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 30th Anniversary Edition

Che Guevara habla a la juventud (Che Guevara Speaks to Youth) (Spanish Edition)
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Nixon on May 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Just as my title says: Nice idea -- get more revolutionary than the other critical pedagogues with Che! But what does this book leave us with? The author's runaway ego, and reality left clean behind. This sort of over the top theorizing has as much chance of influencing American schooling or our cultural future as does the latest dance move.
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